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Dala and Behardien take Titans to MODC final

A career-best and franchise record haul of 6/19 by Junior Dala set up the Titans' five-wicket win over the Cape Cobras at Centurion on Wednesday.

Titans bowler Junior Dala. Picture: @Titans_Cricket/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - A career-best and franchise record haul of 6/19 by Junior Dala set up the Titans' five-wicket win over the Cape Cobras at Centurion on Wednesday.

With the result, they secured their place in Sunday’s Momentum One Day Cup final after a gripping playoff match.

The home side won the toss and bowled first with veteran Steyn rocking the Cape side with two wickets, those of Janneman Malan and Zubayr Hamza for ducks, in two first-over deliveries to leave them on nought for two. Steyn ended with impressive figures of 3/20.

Dala then launched from Steyn's platform as the Cobras continued to slide until they reached 52/5 by the end of the 18th over.

Wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and Vernon Philander (36) then did some repair work with a 75-run sixth-wicket stand that gave the Cobras some hope.

A further 43 between top-scorer Verreynne, who struck a mature 65 off 98 a few days after his coach Ashwell Prince backed him for Proteas duty, and Kleinveldt (32) raised more hope of a defendable score, but both fell in quick succession soon after.

It left the tail exposed to Dala who was bowling with some heat as he pounced for his best-ever figures that trumped his maiden career 5/32 against the Dolphins earlier in the season. Dala is the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 26 wickets. His performance restricted the Cobras to 187 all out.

The regular-season winners dominated almost entirely from start to finish – bar a small window in between when Vernon Philander (2/35) and Rory Kleinveldt (3/49) got the new ball to talk, threatening an upset.

Their early strikes left the home fans worried after their side slipped to 14/2 and then 65/5.

Thereafter Behardien did what he does best by finishing the job that his teammates could not. An unbeaten 75 off 92 balls (9 fours) steadied the Titans ship following a rocky start and guided them to their target with 65 deliveries remaining.

After initially consolidating, he went on to bat right through the innings thanks to excellent support from Corbin Bosch at the other end with the latter ending on 45 off 65 balls.

Their partnership, in the end, was worth 123 and their side won with 10.5 overs to spare.

It completed another excellent showing by Mark Boucher’s men, who will now meet either the Dolphins or the Warriors for the 2018/19 title on Sunday.